First of all, take a gander at the trailer for those of you that haven’t seen it yet.
Next, allow me to say that if you’ve ever been to a movie theater that nobody goes to on a Tuesday night to see an underscored movie, then you might know how amazing an unplanned private screening is. I was all excited when the “please silence your cell phones” screen came up, considering myself among the ballerest of rappers and socialites, thinking to myself “i ain’t gotta turn nothin’ off.” I had considered several avenues of fun to take advantage of the current setting: the first of which was mystery science theater, only i had never seen the movie, thus making it pretty tough to properly rip it apart. Second, throwing overpriced foodstuffs at the screen and demanding my money back, only to realize that I had no such snacks. And lastly to try to augment the complete lack of romanticism in the movie by making sexy time, but the people that came in 15 minutes after the previews rolled kinda ruined that when they sat 2 seats behind us.
On to the movie.
Sam Neill is in it: score 2 points. Any movie that pulls Dr. Grant out of what can only be called an early retirement has at least got that going for it. Ethan Hawke plays a very . . . Ethan Hawkish character in that he has very few lines, looks confused and concerned a lot, and ends up almost having a really good performance. Nothing particularly wrong, but not exactly out of the park; a solid B game, I’d say.
The premise itself is actually very exciting. Very seldom do we hear of a vampire movie from the other side of the tracks. The nuances of this side of the story are quite intriguing with many moments leaving you feeling envious that you hadn’t considered the difficulties of a world of vampires entrenched in a world that spends half of it’s time bathed in poisonous sunlight. Daytime driving windshields, subwalks, blood-spiked coffee, and overly seductive toothpaste ads, just to name a few.
Without spoiling anything too much (not that M Night sharoshashamaland sat in on the storyboarding or anything), the sub 100 minute movie does a good job of setting up the world itself, as it is probably the most interesting and dynamic character of the movie. After that it takes an instant jump to bullet speed to try any make up for the precious 45 minutes it spent getting you up to speed on the fact that people . . . sorry, vampires are yes, still deathly allergic to the sun.
If the movie had a twist, I’d say it would be that Willem Dafoe seems to be getting younger as time passes. Here we are in 2010 and good old Willem isn’t looking so bad compared to the scene in Spider Man when he decided to rip off his clothes and jump on his glider…or maybe that was just all around kind of creepy . . . who knows, I’m pretty sure the best part of that movie was the Macy Gray cameo.
I’m ranting. Back to the movie
Good: lots of blood, no cheesy romance awkwardly thrown in to try to justify this to anybody other than the target audience, Sam Neill, more blood, a cool soundtrack (OST), and the fact that we almost had the theater to ourselves.
Bad: the audio – it sounded like the entire movie took place inside Sam Neill’s mouth. I’m not sure what it was, and it didn’t happen with anybody else, but I feel like the entire movie counted as receiving oral favors from Dr. Grant. Next – rushed plot, probably due to the next point, 98 minute running time – not that it needs to be anywhere near the gargantuan 162 minutes that avatar boasts, but i feel like I got slightly screwed.
All in all I was, like I said, very surprised at the effort put into showing how vamps are getting along night-to-night avoiding sunburn, and the story fit somewhere in between a gore thriller and vampire noir.
3 velociraptors out of 5